Birmingham has the highest-paid councillors of any major city – raking in more than £16,500 a year.
They still top the pay table despite foregoing a rise for the last three years.
Councillors in Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool all get less, while councillors in neighbouring Solihull receive half the amount in basic allowances.
According to figures revealed by the Taxpayers’ Alliance, the basic allowance for a Birmingham councillor is £16,267.08 a year. In England, only the Greater London Assembly pays more.
Manchester councillors get £15,956, in Leeds £14,781.07 and in Liverpool £10,620.
Councillors do not receive salaries but they do get allowances to compensate them for time spent on council duties. Those with special responsibilities, such as committee chairs or members of the city cabinet, receive extra payments on top.
Birmingham’s allowance is the highest in the West Midlands.
Coventry councillors receive £12,872 while those in Sandwell get £10,620, Walsall £10,378 and Dudley £9,300. Solihull councillors get just £7,688.04 a-year.
Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “Many taxpayers will be surprised at how much the amount paid varies from one council to the next.”
A Birmingham City Council spokesman said: “In recognition of the tough economic climate, Birmingham councillors have had their basic allowance frozen for the last three years, and changes made by the new administration will cut the overall allowance bill for members by £70,000 in 2012/13.
“The recommended allowances for councillors are set by an independent remuneration panel, taking into account workload and responsibilities.
“It must always be remembered that Birmingham’s electoral wards are the largest in the UK, so the level that is set reflects this. Allowances are regularly monitored and are normally reviewed on a formal basis every 12 months.”